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Research Methodology Coursework For You

The program

Research Methods and Skills – on campus
In a full-time 12 weeks program on-campus in Maastricht, you will follow five Subject Modules consecutively. It is thus an intensive period of study with plenary class sessions being combined with individual and group assignments and self-study. Discussions with peers and RMS lecturers about your initial research ideas will help you sharpen and refine these ideas. The coursework and assignments are all geared towards drafting a solid individual 10-page Research Proposal that needs to be presented and defended successfully for a committee of RMS lecturers. The program is delivered in the period from mid-September to early December.

Research Methods and Skills – blended
Participants may also follow the RMS training program blended. This program is identical to the on-campus training program, be it that the class lectures have been replaced by instructive videos and webinars. Participants will receive individual feedback on their assignments during four previously scheduled support periods. However, it will also require a disciplined work ethic to do so in a timely manner.

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Participants of the blended program must pass the RMS training program within 9 months after the first day they started the program, followed by a period for possible re-sits of assignments up to the maximum of 3 months. In total, thus, RMS blended course work may take 12 months.

Blended RMS Participants are required to attend the on-campus program in Maastricht for a period of at least 2 weeks, during Subject Module 1 (Introduction to Research Methodology). By joining MSM Maastricht for the first Module, participants will be able not only to meet the MSM lecturers, but also fellow (international) students. Class room interactions, peer reviews and group assignments in this Module have proven to be beneficial for students so as to sharpen and refine their initial research ideas and thus kick-start their doctoral studies.

The program follows a hands-on approach and teaches participants (1) how to design a sound and feasible research proposal, (2) how to collect reliable quantitative and qualitative data, (3) how to analyze qualitative and quantitative data through valid methods, and (4) how to report on the research results according to academic standards. More specifically, the program comprises five different Subject Modules which are all geared towards the final product of this program: an individual 10-page Research Proposal, presentation and defense.

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Module 1: Introduction to Research Methodology
The first module focuses on “the basics” of research. It discusses research philosophy, deductive and inductive reasoning, research ethics, the role of literature in the empirical research cycle, literature search & review, presenting a main argument, conceptualizing research (i.e. transforming research question variables into a conceptual model), and the main qualitative and quantitative research strategies in business and management research. The lectures and associated assignments are not only intended to set the stage for the more specialized courses on quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, but are also intended to help sharpen own research ideas in terms of the research question(s), theoretical framework and research strategy. The sessions of this first module are geared towards drafting the problem statement and outlining the theoretical framework of the individual Research Proposal.

Module 2: Qualitative Research Methods
This course will introduce participants to the characteristics of and approaches to designing and conducting qualitative research projects. Participants will gain hands-on experience in various qualitative methods and analytical techniques.

Module 3: Quantitative Data Collection
This module aims to provide a solid introduction to the survey as data collection strategy. The module discusses sampling strategies, instrument development, data collection, data processing, and the strengths and weaknesses of survey designs.

Module 4: Quantitative Data Analysis
The course provides an introduction to quantitative data analysis, starting by introducing basic statistical concepts and continuing with intermediate and advanced-level techniques of econometric analysis, such as multiple regression models and non-linear regression functions.

Module 5: Individual 10-page Research Proposal Development
This module focuses entirely on drafting a solid and feasible individual 10-page Research Proposal as the final product of the RMS training program. This proposal has to be presented and defended before a committee of RMS lecturers.


Subject moduleOrder & Length
Introduction to Research Methodology2 weeks
Qualitative Research Methods2 weeks
Quantitative Data Collection1 week
Research Proposal Development1 week
Quantitative Data Analysis4 weeks
Research Proposal Development2 weeks

Core program faculty
Vincent Feltkamp, PhD
Terry Kakeeto-Aelen, PhD
Aad van Mourik, PhD
Wim Naudé, PhD
Nora Stel, MA
Iris Weijenberg, BA
Jakomijn van Wijk, PhD



For the 12 weeks RMS program, we offer the option to apply for the NUFFIC scholarships.
For more information on how to apply for the NUFFIC scholarship programs, click here.

Please note that in the process of applying for a NUFFIC scholarship, it is critical to be specific on your motivation to apply for the RMS course. That is, when answering the question about the issue/problem you want to address please do not refer to the general lack of research capacity in your country, but think about challenges in an industry, region or organization you want to address. You may want to consult the website of the Dutch embassy in your country to identify the main issues in Dutch development cooperation in your country. In addition, we encourage you to already think about the research approach and research strategy you want to deploy in empirically examining this issue. This will help you answering the question in the NUFFIC application procedure on how the RMS course will help you addressing this issue.

RSMT 3501
Introduction to Research Methods

3.0 Credits


This course will provide an opportunity for participants to establish or advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and approaches. The course introduces the language of research, ethical principles and challenges, and the elements of the research process within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Participants will use these theoretical underpinnings to begin to critically review literature relevant to their field or interests and determine how research findings are useful in forming their understanding of their work, social, local and global environment .

Delivery Method

Online Paced.


In compliance with TRU-Open Learning policy, there are no mandatory prerequisites for this course. However, it is strongly recommended that you have 60 credits of coursework and STAT 1201 or equivalent.


Credit will only be granted for one of HEAL 350, HLTH 3501 or RSMT 3501 .


  • Understand research terminology
  • Be aware of the ethical principles of research, ethical challenges and approval processes
  • Describe quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods approaches to research
  • Identify the components of a literature review process
  • Critically analyze published research

Course Outline

Module 1: Foundations

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Research and the Research Process
  • Lesson 2: Research Ethics and Integrity
  • Lesson 3: Critical appraisal

Module 2: Quantitative Research

  • Lesson 4: Introduction to Quantitative Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 5: Analysis and Interpretation of Quantitative Data
  • Lesson 6: Critical Appraisal of Quantitative Research

Module 3: Qualitative Research

  • Lesson 7: Introduction to Qualitative Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 8: Analysis and Interpretation of Qualitative Data
  • Lesson 9: Critical Appraisal of Qualitative Research

Module 4: Mixed Methods Research

  • Lesson 10: Introduction to Mixed Methods Research, Study Designs and Methods
  • Lesson 11: Analysis and Interpretation of Mixed Methods Data
  • Lesson 12: Critical Appraisal of Mixed Methods Research

Maximum Completion

14 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

  1. Creswell, J. W.. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches. 4th Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014.
    Type: Text

Older editions of the text are not recommended.

  1. TRU Library. APA Citation Style - Quick Guide. 6th edition. 2011.
    Type: Online Guide

Retrieved from https://tru.ca/__shared/assets/apastyle31967.pdf

Recommended Resource

Students are recommended to have access to a print copy of a dictionary of epidemiology, research or statistics or an online glossary. A highly recommended dictionary is: Porta, M. (2014). A dictionary of epidemiology (6th ed). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

The course also makes reference to a variety of online resources and journals.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory final project.

Tri-council Ethics Certification

As part of the module on Research Ethics, students will work through the Tri-council Research Ethics Certification online program that will provide them with a certificate of completion. Students will need to submit a copy of this certification as part of their final project to complete the course.

Assignment 110%
Discussion 15%
Assignment 210%
Discussion 25%
Assignment 310%
Discussion 35%
Assignment 410%
Discussion 45%
Final Project * 40%

* Mandatory

Course Cost Estimator


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